KINGSTON — Some $21 million has been allotted to the Animal Breeding and Husbandry project in the 2011/12 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives.
The project is concerned with research activities focusing on improving the quality of livestock and animal products.
The bulk of the figure, $6.9 million will go towards the Cattle Rescue Programme which seeks to conserve, consolidate and expand the national beef cattle gene pool. It also aims to provide a source of improved livestock genetics to the farming community, and sires for the production of semen.
Another $3.6 million has been allotted to the Pig Commercialisation Project, which aims to maintain a nucleus pig herd for the generation of seed stock for sale to commercial pig farmers island-wide and provide slaughter stock for the fresh pork market.
The initiative also seeks to demonstrate best husbandry and breeding practises for commercial pig production and evaluate the productivity of breeding animals and efficiency in the slaughter of pigs.
Additionally, $3 million will go to the Feeds Research and Evaluation for Livestock programme for activities to be carried out at the Bodles and Montpelier research stations, in St. Catherine and St. James respectively, and include forage development, evaluation, rehabilitation and animal nutrition studies.
The remaining sum will be spent on the Sheep and Goat Development programme ($2.7 million); Research and Evaluation of Husbandry Systems for Livestock
($1.9 million); Research and Evaluation of Breeding Systems for Dairy and Meat Animals ($1.7 million); and Goat Meat Commercialisation Project ($1.06 million).
In the meantime, some $16.8 million has been allotted in the 2011/12 Estimates of Expenditure for the Research Station Management project for the purchase and maintenance of equipment and other facilities at Bodles ($7.07 million); Montpelier ($6.28 million); and Orange River ($3.51 million).
Furthermore, a sum of $23 million has been set aside for the National Screwworm Programme, to control the spread of new world screwworm through the distribution and application of asuntol powder and advertisement.
By CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter